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Student Forum


Soroptimist International of Bayside is conducting a forum for girls in year 6 transitioning next year to high school. The forum will address issues of anxiety and provide tools and strategies to help girls address such issues.

Date - October 8, 1 - 4 pm

Place - Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre, Stradbroke Avenue, Wynnum. 

For more detailed information and to book, visit the website -

Enquiries - This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  


Latest News From Bayside Inc

Region ConferencePrintE-mail
Written by Ralda Forzin  
Saturday, 11 April 2015

 Six members attended the Region Conference held at Indooroopilly March 13-15. Keynote speaker, Prabha Nandagopal (far right), spoke on the subject of children in immigration detention. She is shown here with club member and Region President, Ralda Forzin (centre), and Madina Mahmood. The club had sponsored Madina in the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition. Her presentation so impressed that she was asked to particiapte in a conference panel session on the subject of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.


You can read more about the conference below.


Lighting the WayPrintE-mail
Written by Ralda Forzin  
Thursday, 01 May 2014

sltw-with-logo.jpgSoroptimist International of Bayside has launched a project designed to distribute alternative energy devices, initially solar lanterns, to women and children in areas lacking reliable electricity. The money is to be raised by members offsetting their use of resources, especially non-renewable resources. Soroptimists and others are encouraged to offset air and road travel and forward funds to S.I. Bayside. Since this was devised primarily as a Climate Justice project, the calculation of donation is based on carbon dioxide emissions involved in the travel. An easy carbon calculation can be done using the web site - www. For ease, we have set a carbon price at $10 per tonne of  carbon dioxide. Distribution of the lanterns will be organised by partner soroptimist clubs, initially in Papua New Guinea. 

Forms for easy calculation have been created. We wish to collate the information about emissions offset as well as funds. Please fill in the form and forward it to allow us to collect data. Funds can be directly deposited into a bank account in the name of Soroptimist International of Bayside (details on forms). Please include Reference: SLTW and your name (or initials if your bank limits number of digits).  Download an air_travel_form_fillable. A form is also available for road travel.

In our part of the world, our concern is for spiralling electricity and fuel costs. In other parts of the world, women and children have no access to electricity even should they be able to afford it. Social justice demands that these families should be raised out of poverty, that their lifestyles should be improved, that societies should be allowed to develop. With the world’s population already consuming 2 and a half planets worth of resources, social justice has environmental implications. We are not willing to forego the convenience of our various labour-saving and entertainment devices. We want to travel. These are choices we have. These are choices that we can make that others can’t. So Bayside and other Soroptimists are choosing to pay a little extra rent for space they occupy on Planet Earth and the resources we consume. Please join us. Choose to offset an energy bill by filling in the form provided. energy_audit_initial



March - No Plastic MonthPrintE-mail
Written by Ralda Forzin  
Monday, 10 March 2014



As part of S.I. Bayside’s Environmental Project “Lighting the Way”, members have commited to reducing their ecological footprint, one habit at a time. The focus for the month of March is our use and abuse of disposable plastics. We have devised a system to be more aware of, and monitor, our use and abuse of plastics. There is a format - a digital fillable pdf form - that can be completed to take you through the process. If participants forward this record at the end of the month, we can collate and record our collective efforts, evaluate our successes and plan for the future. Please join us in our attempt to reduce the impact of plastic litter on our environment and eliminate our dependence on single use, disposable plastics. Forms can be requested from This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Read on to find out why this is important and what you can do personally. The strategies are simple.

REFUSE - Say no to disposable plastic

REDUCE - Find alternatives

REUSE - Don’t simply dispose

RECYCLE - Find outlets for recycling bags

REMOVE - plastic litter from the environment.

The use and misuse of disposable of plastic containers is not only a profligate use of diminishing and non-renewable resources, it is a massive environmental problem.

The main problem with plastic - beside there being so much of it - is that it doesn't bio-degrade. No natural processes can break it down. It just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces (called mermaid tears or nurdles) and accumulates in the environment. Our dependence on disposable plastics for food and drink packaging has added significantly to environmental pollution, especially in our oceans.
More at: 

Personal Actions:

  • Make sure you dispose of all plastics appropriately, even the smaller items like lids and straws. 
  • Pick up plastic (and other) litter wherever you see it and dispose of it properly, recycling when possible. Make a habit of carrying a rubbish bag with you on your walks or outings.

 A litter_survey tally form can be downloaded or will be forwarded on request from This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


  • The average plastic bag is used for only 5 minutes, yet can take up to 1,000 years to break down in the environment.
  • Australians use over 10 million plastic bags a day. Australians throw away about 7,150 recyclable plastic bags a minute, with 429,000 recyclable plastic supermarket bags dumped in landfill every hour.
More at .
Personal Actions:
  • Reuse the plastic bags needed for purchasing and storing food such as vegetables  and fruit. Take a supply with you when you shop rather than using new ones all the time.
  • Recycle plastic bags at the end of their useful life. There are bins outside many supermarkets.
  • Refuse plastic bags when you shop, even for meats and coldstuffs. You can always wash your shopping bags if there is spillage.
  • Try replacing your collection of plastic bags with biodegradable ones, use and reuse them and then compost them at the end of their useful life.
  • Try fining yourself each time you forget and donate the money to "Lighting the Way".


Not all plastics can be recycled. Different plastics have to be separated and treated differently in the recycling process. That is the reason plastics have a number inside the recycle symbol. Many plastic items are recyclable and are labelled as such. However, recycling of certain types of plastics eg. styrofoam, plastic wrapping around new electrical goods, post-packs, can not be dealt with by local councils. Inclusion of these in your recycle bin can lead to an entire load being dumped as contaminated. There are specialist tips and recycling plants for some of these items, but they deal mainly with businesses and charge for their services. Councils issue information about which types can be recycled in their system. Find out more at the Brisbane City Council site.

Personal Actions:

  • Make sure you know what can and can't be recycled through your recycle bin and your local tip. Only include those to avoid contamination of loads.
  • Avoid buying food in non-recyclable plastic containers.
  • Reuse plastic containers, even disposable ones, before recycling.

Degradable plastics are still made from fossil fuels. They simply have additives that allow them to break down (into very small pieces) over time by the action of heat or exposure to UV light. A major disadvantage is that they will not break down in the presence of moisture. That means they are not suitable for composting and are still a threat to the marine environment. Biodegradable plastics are made from plant and animal sources. Exposed to micro-organisms, moisture, UV and oxygen, they break down they enter the normal organic cycling of nature. Many break down rapidly under the right conditions and are compostable. This is indeed preferable. However, they must be disposed of in the right conditions. In normal landfill, they break down very slowly, releasing methane a major greenhouse gas and a fire hazard.


Degradable plastics are useful if disposed of carefully. They degrade in landfill conditions (often still over years not weeks). You must be able to guarantee that they will go directly to the tip. They are light sensitive and can lack the strength which is plastic's advantage if exposed to light and heat while still in use. There is some debate as to whether they can effectively be recycled. Importantly, degradable plastics that land in the ocean or water sources will not break down so they are still a problem if they become litter. Biodegradable plastic containers and bags must also be disposed of appropriately. There are some large, professionally run composting tips which provide compost commercially, but most people pay for rubbish disposal as part of their rates. If you have an active composting system, compostable bags are obviously the way to go.

Personal Actions:

  • Become aware of the variety of plastics and be careful about their disposal.
  • Try to find creative solutions to reduce dependency on single use plastic items. There are even environmentally friendly alternatives to disposable nappies. Often the alternatives are more expensive.
  • Share you ideas and experiences with others.






Reconciling HistoryPrintE-mail
Written by Ralda Forzin  
Wednesday, 07 March 2012

Reconciling History

a CD-ROM educational resource kit with a focus on indigenous and feminist history

The information on the disc fills a current educational need for valid information on indigenous perspectives and women’s history to which teachers have had little or no access. The kit includes historical source materials that affirm indigenous and feminist viewpoints and provide information about their contributions to history and culture - education to encourage gender equality and racial tolerance. It supports the reconciliation movement in Australia and confirms SI’s commitment to inter-cultural and inter-racial goodwill and understanding.


This project was inspired by permission to digitise a previously unpublished diary of a Scottish migrant to the Moreton Bay area in early days of free settlement (from the 1860s) for which the organisers sincerely thank James Aird’s descendant, Sandra Eaton. The diary stories raise many issues relevant to colonial Queensland history including:

  • interaction between settlers and local Aborigines
  • disease and quarantine
  • importation of Asian and South Sea Island labour
  • land clearing and its environmental impacts.

This project was created in partnership between Soroptimist International of Bayside and Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre, an Education Queensland facility. Funding was provided by the Queensland Government through a Q150 grant which allowed for copies of the kit to be distributed freely to local schools.

Copies are now available for purchase at the low price of $12 + plus $1.20 GST and $4.80 postage and handling - $18 total.

To order copies please forward the following information to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it :

  • Number of copies
  • Contact Name
  • Address for postage.

Invoices for payment will be forwarded and the disc/s sent on payment.


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